Full value—that’s what F5 partner FullProxy aims to deliver to customers. The UK cybersecurity company specializes in converting extensive experience with F5 technologies into highly efficient and effective solutions and managed services that not only protect customers and their apps but enhance the value of those customers’ IT investments.
FullProxy, an F5 Gold Tier partner in Glasgow, Scotland, helps secure apps for customers in industries ranging from financial services and healthcare to retail and the automotive industry. With fewer than a dozen employees, the firm nonetheless serves organizations with a global presence. Its staff draws on unusually deep technical understanding of the F5 platform to reap maximum benefit from existing solutions, deploy cybersecurity strategies delivering more than the sum of the parts, and nurture IT performance and investment returns for customers.
Most FullProxy customers—like organizations around the world—operate with limited resources, while regulatory compliance only gets more complex. The pace of technological change also means most IT teams struggle with a chronic shortage of skills, even as attacks on applications continue to escalate.
“It can be difficult to balance all that,” says FullProxy cofounder and CEO Ewan Ferguson.
Meanwhile, automated attacks make even the smallest app or website a target today. “Customers don’t realize how sophisticated the bad actors are these days in terms of probing and penetration of any assets on the Internet,” says Chris Templeton, FullProxy CTO and cofounder.
“It’s happening at the speed of automation, and realistically you have to be defending it at that speed as well,” Ferguson adds. “People are finding it hard to keep up. Customers try to solve the problem by buying one of every technology, but that actually creates more problems than it solves.”
That’s where FullProxy’s technical expertise shines—correcting the proliferation of point solutions and often solving multiple challenges with a single, flexible technology platform from F5.
In improving their customers’ app security and performance, FullProxy frequently helps customers make greater use of existing F5 investments to conserve limited IT resources and increase overall ROI.
“There’s a reason we’re called FullProxy,” says Ferguson. “We have other technologies, but we’re very, very focused on F5.” In less than a decade, his team has cultivated expertise that sets the company apart and enables it to address a wide variety of customer needs using existing investments—often in innovative ways.
For instance, he recalls helping an energy company create F5 iRules and policies to meet objectives that might otherwise have required additional investments. “You can be very creative on the platform,” he says. “We really pride ourselves on our concrete knowledge and experience beyond what the book says. There are often multiple ways to do things, and that gives F5 solutions power.”
In addition, he points out that the F5 portfolio is dynamic, changing in relevant ways over time to address evolving threats such as fraud and DDoS attacks and adding delivery models such as managed services. He says, “The portfolio is broad and robust, and the depth of what each product can do gives the customer incredible flexibility. When a customer asks, ‘Can F5 do this?’ the answer is rarely no.”
FullProxy draws on this power and flexibility to keep customers secure, maximize the value of both new and existing solutions, and build long-term relationships.
Ferguson, who calls F5 “innovative,” says, “What we’re able to do with F5, quite often, is to help customers consolidate behind one technology. A customer could buy BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) for one reason and solve 10 problems with it once we get through the door.” This full grasp of solution capabilities delivers maximum value for the investment.
He says being focused on one technology or vendor, or a limited number of complementary technologies, helps keep companies and their apps safer by reducing complexity. It can also lower costs by minimizing staff skill requirements.
“A partner that realizes the full investment of what customers bought will bring more business back,” he notes.
It also helps attract new business. FullProxy recently sealed a deal with a global financial services company managing more than $1.5 trillion (USD) in assets. The support provided will include F5 solutions.
“This company is distributed across the world, with different teams and different continents doing things different ways,” says Ferguson. FullProxy has convinced them to bring more consistency to their app security. “They’re a customer that can see the future and are prepared to step into it with F5.”
“We continue to believe that F5 is the best solution for app security,” says Ferguson. F5 BIG-IP Advanced Web Application Firewall (WAF) is one product FullProxy repeatedly recommends. For example, when a healthcare customer recently deployed an app intended for a limited audience of local users, the implementation team insisted on deploying BIG-IP Advanced WAF, too.
“The customer hadn’t really considered it,” says Ferguson. “But within hours we were able to show 7,000 5-star blocks—almost instantaneously they were blocking traffic from India, Russia, and China trying to rip data out.”
He adds, “BIG-IP Advanced WAF continues to offer a great return.”
The recent introduction of F5 Distributed Cloud Services—SaaS-based app security, networking, and delivery technologies—is also helping FullProxy secure customer apps with a quick ROI, even across hybrid infrastructures.
“Centralizing security in Distributed Cloud Services is a much tidier solution from a strategy/design architecture point of view,” Ferguson says. “The consumption of SaaS services is the future. The speed at which you can deploy Distributed Cloud Services is a fantastic selling point. You can be protected very quickly.”
In fact, FullProxy switched its own web security solution to use this new F5 option. “We put our own website behind F5 Distributed Cloud Web Application and API Protection (WAAP),” Templeton says. “That’s how much we trust it. And we can quickly put a customer’s website behind it and demonstrate the benefit there and then.”
Ferguson says such real-world demonstrations are powerful. “We’re so confident in the product that we’re prepared to throw attacks at our own website and use our own brand to show how they’re defended against.”
Ferguson and Templeton both praise FullProxy’s close relationship with F5. In addition to citing long-lasting friendships with F5 individuals, he calls out the company as collaborative. The teamwork includes close interaction with F5 technical teams and influence on product development, including F5’s forthcoming next-generation software, F5 BIG-IP Next.
Templeton says, “When BIG-IP Next is released, we’ll have the advantage of having seen earlier versions, so we’ll be familiar with how that works. We’ll be able to sell and support it that much more quickly. And hopefully our feedback in the development will lead to a better product.”
Similarly, FullProxy Digital Marketing Executive Abbie Ridgway praises F5 marketing support, including help provided personally by Chris Gubbins, their F5 field marketing manager—channel. She says, “As a small business, it’s great to have that support, and we’re trying to get involved as much as possible with the demand generation center.”
Ultimately, of course, the success of any partnership relies on personal relationships—those FullProxy forges with its customers as well as those it maintains with F5.
“F5 have a really strong message with their human-first approach, and we buy into that,” Ferguson says. “We know it’s all about people at the end of the day. It transcends the business.”
FullProxy is one F5 partner that sees the full picture: capturing the full power of technology to help people achieve goals.